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Brazilian embassy has high praise for UEL research

UEL students

A senior representative from the Brazilian Embassy in London had high praise for a University of East London report into the positive effects of Capoeira on children in Middle East conflict zones.

The Head of the Brazilian Embassy’s Academic Section, Maria Cecília Barcelos Cavalcante Vieira, says she was very happy to hear about the report, as it highlighted another aspect of Capoeira. “We wanted to support the initiative and assess how this Brazilian art form is having an impact around the world,” she said. Vieira pointed out that people usually see it as a sport, but it’s so much more than that, as shown by the report.

Vieira revealed that Capoeira was also playing its part on the African continent with Capoeira for Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, helping to reintegrate child soldiers into society.

UEL lecturer in international development, Dr Kathryn Kraft, co-authored the report with Capoeira4 Refugees. Commenting on the processes involved, she told the media, “We did some surveys to collect data, but that didn’t really capture the impact,” said explained.

Kraft said she wasn’t surprised. “We’re not talking about things that can be counted in numbers, it’s something of the heart that needs to be expressed in a more human way.”

The report launch was held at the Museum of London, which brought together academics from UEL, staff from the charity Capoeira4Refugees, Capoeira performers, and reporters from BBC World Service and the Brazilian Communications Enterprise.

Also attending the event was The Economist’s internationally recognised Middle East expert and author, Nicholas Pelham, who spoke briefly at the start of the event.

The launch closed with a live performance of Capoeira music and dancing.